Like others on the list, I received the post from Kevin Franken concerning
his question about the proposed merger of the botany and zoology
departments at Eastern Illinois. I responded to him directly, recommending
that the departments should merge without delay, because the broader
viewpoint would benefit the students.
Last week, our University President called a meeting to discuss, ulp,
departmental reorganization. A sweeping plan was outlined, involving the
merger of several departments. Part of that plan calls for biology to
merge with chemistry to form a joint department. Naturally, we are very
concerned about the merger, because we would lose our identity, etc., etc,
etc. Of course, logic might dictate that if it's OK for botany and zoology
departments to merge to form a joint biology department, then it should be
OK for biology and chemistry departments to merge to form a joint, um,
biology-chemistry department, right?
My question is: are there any other successful examples of merged
biology-chemistry departments in institutions similar to my own
(comprehensive, independent, 4-year liberal arts university with a total
enrollment of 2000 - 2500 students)? If so, what are the factors that
contribute to success? If not, what are the pitfalls that we must seek to
Kenneth M. Klemow, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology & GeoEnvir. Sci.
Department of Biology
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
e-mail: kklemow at wilkes1.wilkes.edu